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The LiberTEA Collective is an 8-week intensive leadership program to cultivate a talent pipeline of Black Tennesseans who are ready to transform our communities as rising civic leaders and democracy defenders. For too long, the political arena has been white-dominated and white-led. Now is the time to position ourselves to become key decision makers within our communities, cities, and state. 

On our mission to unapologetically build Black political power, we welcome the novice and the knowledgeable, to join a force of Black leaders who are fully committed to leading change that results in liberation and freedom in every area of our lives. We center the people most impacted by community problems and give them the tools to identify equitable solutions. 

Who Is The LiberTEA Collective For? 

The Collective is designed for the person who is anxious to channel their anger, frustration and hunger for change, but unsure of where to start, and the person who is shoulder-deep in community involvement. Black activists, organizers, clergy, parents, community members, students, campaign operatives, and everyday people — the Collective is for all of us. Liberators will learn and grow through in-depth sessions dedicated to healing, social justice training, historical context, government and politics, movement building, and more. 

Liberators will complete the Collective with a solid, life-enriching understanding of what’s at stake and valuable strategies to take action towards relentless power building, liberation, and freedom. The inaugural Collective cohort began June 2021 with expert facilitators who guided weekly experiential learning sessions, using a popular education model that is free from judgment and intimidation.

The Ideal Liberator Possesses:

> Laser focused commitment to successfully complete the 8-week program including coursework, teamwork, and weekly participation. 

> Willingness to address and heal through personal and communal trauma. 

> Be open to the opinions, struggles, and triumphs of the multifaceted Black experience. We’re not all the same, but we will demonstrate respect and provide a mutual safe space for each other. 

> Determination to amplify their individual voice and influence as a champion of unapologetic, independent Black political and economic power within Tennessee. 

> Deep desire to learn the strategies and tools to secure a government that works for Black people. You don’t have to know it all, or know a lot, just commit to learning, growing, and activating your untapped power. 

Participant fee

The LiberTEA Collective has a participation fee of $0-$300, based on your ability to pay. We want the program to be accessible to all Black community members regardless of income level, zip code or education level. If unable to pay the fee, scholarships are available. Indicate your need for a scholarship on your application form. 

Participation fees cover the program’s costs including travel, lodging, meals, child care, and training materials.

Application Schedule

Applications open: 
Monday, August 2
Application deadline: 
Friday, August 27 by 11:59 pm CT
Applicant interviews: 
Monday, August 30 – Tuesday, August 31
Acceptance notification: 
Friday, September 3
Applicant Acceptance & Payment deadline: 
Sunday, September 5 by 11:59 PM CT

Fall 2021

LiberTEA Collective Cohort Schedule

Opening Session/Healing Retreat 

“Self-Love is Community Love” 

Friday, September 10 – Saturday, September 11

(In-person and overnight)

Session 2 

“Freedom Ain’t Free: The Fight for Black Freedom” 

Thursday, September 23


Session 3 

“Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game: Civics 101”  

Monday, September 27


Session 4 & 5 

“Can’t Create Change From the Sideline: Running for Office and Working on a Campaign” 

“This Ain’t A Spectator Sport: Movement Building and Disruption” 

 Friday, October 8 – Saturday, October 9

(In-person, overnight)

Session 6 

“Movers, Shakers, and Gatekeepers: Boards, Commissions, and Civil Service Roles” 

Thursday, October 14


Session 7 

“Yo Seat Ain’t Safe: Advocacy and Lobbying” 

Monday, October 18


Session 8 

“Graduation: We are Liberators!” 

Saturday, October 23


Full participation and attendance is required for the duration of the cohort. The Collective is designed to be an interactive experience and the material covered builds on each topic weekly. We understand that life happens, so if you are unable to attend every session and graduation in its entirety, we encourage you to apply in the future. 

To apply, complete the LiberTEA Collective application here by Friday, August 27, 2021 at 11:59 PM CT. 

The Equity Alliance is a Tennessee based 501(c)(3) that unapologetically builds independent Black political and
economic power. We educate, empower, and mobilize Black people to take action and keep our government in check.
Learn more about The Equity Alliance at theequityalliance.org.

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